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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber responds to extension of lockdown in Leicester

Responding to the news that extended lockdown measures are to be introduced in Leicester and selected surrounding areas to control the spread of coronavirus, Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber, said:

“For businesses within the affected areas, this news will come as a significant blow. Many were looking forward to reopening this weekend for the first time since lockdown began in March. Others were just getting up to speed after welcoming back staff and customers over the past fortnight.

“Government support since national lockdown was imposed has been critical in keeping many of these businesses afloat over the past few months. With an extended and more robust local lockdown now in place, these businesses now need additional support above and beyond what has already been made available to avoid the emergence of a two-tier recovery which leaves Leicester – and any other areas where similar restrictions might be applied in future – lagging.

“This support must be immediate, targeted and delivered in the form of grants so as not to add to already burgeoning debt levels. Where businesses have incurred cost in readying themselves for reopening, they should be compensated.

“Affected local authorities and other support organisations must be properly resourced to support these businesses – and the wider communities in which they are based and their staff are drawn from – with clear and decisive communication, advice and guidance over steps they can take to minimise the negative economic impacts of extended lockdown.

“Importantly, what tonight’s announcement demonstrates is that no part of the country can be complacent about controlling the spread of this virus. If a place like Leicester can be susceptible to a re-emergence of coronavirus, then so can any other centre of population in the UK.

“It is incumbent on everyone to remain sensible, follow guidance and conduct ourselves in a way that is responsible and considerate of those around us.”

You can find the latest up-to-date information at the link below.

https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/how-you-can-help/increased-restrictions-for-leicester-and-parts-of-leicestershire-announced

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